Call ’em what you will, French fries, pommes frites, Freedom fries (OK, nobody calls them that), those thin, crisp slivers of potato inspire a lot of debate. Whether it’s the type of potato, the frying oil, the size of the cut, or even what you dip them in, everybody’s got their favorite.

Society 1858 of the Gibbes Museum and four area restaurants are teaming up to let locals select their top choice at Society 1858’s Bastille Day Celebration, entitled an Evening at Bastille Café, and they’re even giving one lucky fry-lover a free plate at the winning restaurant each week for an entire year. Here’s the lowdown:

The contest is between Blind Tiger, 39 Rue de Jean, The Glass Onion, and La Fourchette. From now until July 16, participating voters can visit the restaurants to sample the frites, and then, at the party on the 16th, the ballots will be cast to choose the winner. The event, which is free to Society members, will also involve a scavenger hunt, and members who participate in the hunt will have the opportunity to win a year’s supply of fries from the victorious restaurant. You do have to be a Society 1886 member in order to take part in the scavenger hunt, but becoming an 1858 member essentially only requires joining the Gibbes museum (memberships range from $30 to $100) and attending the party.

Hors d’oeuvres and les boissons (beverages) will be provided by Rue de Jean (yes, they’ll be serving pommes frites), and Rue de Jean will also be hosting an official after-party. The celebration lasts from 8-11 p.m. and is $25 for nonmembers. To RSVP or get more details on Society 1858, call Gibbes at 722-2705 ext. 22 or purchase tickets online at